Important Information

Here are some essential facts that will make your stay in Slovakia less of a hassle. Read the following information over so you don't have to find it out the hard way when you arrive.

Time zone: Slovakia uses Central European Time (CET) along with other central European countries (e.g. Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Poland and Italy. Officially it is GMT+1 hour (London), EST+6 hour (New York) PST+9 hour (Los Angeles)

Country telephone code: +421

Local telephone calls
Public phones accept local coinage but most public phones require telephone cards, which can be purchased at post offices, railway stations, department stores, kiosks and hotels.

International telephone calls
To call Bratislava direct from the US or Canada use the international access code 011, the country code 421, the Bratislava city code 2, and then the local number.

Currency
The Slovak unit of currency is the Euro (it replaced the Slovenska koruna (SKK), or Slovak crown on January 1, 2009). Each euro is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, and 1, 2 and 5 euros. Bills come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 euros. For the current rate of exchange check any major newspaper or use our online currency converter

Pictures of old Slovak currency

Use our currency converter

Banks and Money Exchange
Only exchange money in banks and certified exchange offices. Exchanges offices can be found in all major hotels, travel agencies and department stores. They are denoted as ZMENAREN (Exchange/Cambio/Wechsel). Most freely convertible currencies can be exchanged into Slovak crowns (SKK) at these exchange bureaus.

Credit Cards
EuroCard/MasterCard and Visa are accepted at banks, restaurants and shops throughout the country. Diners Club and American Express acceptance is also growing. Payment cards accepted are usually marked at the entrance.

Banks and exchange offices will also exchange hard currency, and there is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that may be imported into Slovakia. Avoid exchanging money from individuals on the street. Exporting of Slovak currency is regulated so inquire at the customs office if you plan on taking Slovak crowns with you.

Travelers' checks are generally not accepted in stores, small hotels or restaurants, although Eurocheques are taken at some locations. Banks and exchange offices will exchange travelers' checks for a fee. A convenient way of accessing cash outside business hours is to use an automated teller machine (ATM), usually marked as BANKOMAT (bank machine). Most Slovak ATMs belong to one of the major international banking systems such as MasterCard, VISA, Plus, Maestro or Cirrus.

Shopping hours
Most establishments are open between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but some smaller ones take lunch breaks. Many banks close at 4:00 p.m. On Saturdays, most stores close by noon, and few are open on Sundays. Nevertheless, there are some 24-hour convenience shops usually located at gas stations. Most major shopping malls are open until the evening seven days a week.

Video system
PAL/SECAM (incompatible with NTSC system in North America)

Voltage & Adaptors
220 volts / 50 Hz, Slovakia uses the standard continental European "europlug", with 2 round pins, socket and plug system also found in Germany, France, etc.

English-language publications:
The Slovak Spectator weekly newspaper

The Union of Translators and Interpreters:
Laurinska 2, 815 08 Bratislava, Slovakia, telephone (421-7) 533-4374, or 533-2817, ext. 226.

Emergency phone numbers
Joint rescue services> 112 Police: 158
Ambulance: 155
Fire: 150
Directory enquiries: 1181

The above numbers are valid anywhere in the Slovak Republic

Visa requirements
Visas are not required by most European and U.S. citizens. Canadian, British and Irish nationals can stay up to 180 days visa-free and US citizens can stay up to 30 days. Click here for a complete list of countries and restrictions.

Don't count on getting your Slovakia visa at the border.
Click here for more information

Holidays

Jan. 1 New Year's Day
Jan. 6 The Three Wise Men
March/April Easter
May 1 May Day
July 5 Introduction of Christianity
Aug. 29 Slovak National Uprising of 1944
Sept. 1 Constitution Day
Sept. 15 St Maria's Day
Nov. 1 All Saints Day
Dec. 24, 25, 26 Christmas Holiday Break

When to go: Slovakia enjoys a moderate continental climate. The weather is sunny in spring and fall, with temperatures between 10 and 20 (C). Temperatures average in the low to mid 20s (C) in summer, evenings may be cool. Winter temperatures average around 0 (C).

Getting to and around Slovakia - Driving

An International Driving License is valid in Slovakia all the while road signs and rules comply with European standards. On freeways and highways drivers must have annual toll labels which can be purchased at border crossings, post offices, and gas stations. For cars below 3 500 kg in weight, the price for 2007 is 150 SKK for a one-week stamp, 300 SKK for a one-month stamp and 1 100 SKK for a one-year stamp.

Speed limits are 60km/h in cities and towns, 90km/h on open roads and 130km/h on multilane freeways (unless otherwise marked). Seat belts are compulsory for all passengers. Children under 12 and animals are not allowed in the front passenger seat. Be aware that all vehicles must have a first aid box, tow rope, hazard triangle, reflecting vest and a spare tire. If you are caught violating any of these laws a fine may be imposed on the spot.

The blood-alcohol level in Slovakia is 0.0. Basically, if you drink any alcohol you can't drive.

Gas (BENZIN) is sold in several unleaded varieties (Natural 95 & 98) with a special mixture (UNI91) for older cars. Diesel fuel is also available.

Road conditions are generally up to Western standards especially on the Prague - Bratislava corridor. A new trans-national highway is being gradually built between Bratislava and Presov.

Getting to and around Slovakia - Flying

Air transportation is provided by airports in Bratislava, Kosice, Piestany, Sliac and in Poprad. Bratislava is served by a number of low-cost and regular carriers. Kosice's International airport is served by a few carriers with a limited number of direct connections. Most major airlines land at Vienna's Schwechat International airport instead. Overseas flights are accessible through Vienna Schwechat (40 km from Bratislava).

Flights within Slovakia are serviced by two local carriers with daily service between Kosice and Bratislava. Regular service to Poprad (High Tatras) and other regional areas is also available. Private planes and helicopters can be chartered.

Getting to and around Slovakia - Train

International trains run from Vienna (1 hour), Budapest (2,5 hours) and Prague (5 hours) several times a day. Trains from Krakow (Poland) stop in Bratislava (5,5 hours). EURail pass holders must buy a supplement.

All major cities within Slovakia are serviced by train on a daily basis. Service to smaller towns and villages is less frequent and in many cases seasonal. Visit Slovak Railways to get exact schedules.

Getting to and around Slovakia - Bus

Buses run regularly from the Vienna Schwechat airport to Bratislava. Daily buses also operate to Vienna as well as to Budapest and Prague from Bratislava.

Extensive bus service is available throughout Slovakia. Although less expensive than the train buses can take considerably longer to reach their destination. Sometimes, however, it can be more convenient to take a bus since many of the schedules and routes don't overlap with the train service.

City buses, tramways, trolleybuses are available in all towns. Tickets can be purchased in news stands, from automated machines at the bus stops and in some cities directly in the bus.

Getting to and around Slovakia - Ferry

A scenic ferry along the Danube is a convenient and pleasurable way to travel from Bratislava to Vienna or Budapest. Ferry transport has also been increasing since the establishment of the Main-Rhine-Danube system which allows ferry excursions all the way to Germany and beyond.

Total Area 49,035 km2
The Highest Peak
Gerlachovsky Stit (Vysoke Tatry - High Tatras)
2,655 m above sea level
The Lowest Point Bodrog River:( 94 m above sea level)
The Oldest Glacial Cave in Europe Demanovska jaskyna
The Largest and Deepest Natural Lake Big Hincovo mountain lake (High Tatras)
area 182,000 m2; greatest depth 53 m
The Highest Located Lake Above Sea Level Modre Pleso (High Tatras)
height above sea level 2,157 m
Major National Parks and Preserves
Narodny park Nizkych Tatier/ The Low Tatras
area 810 km2

Slovensky raj/ Slovak Paradise
area 197 km2

Slovensky kras
361 km2

Tatransky Narodny Park (TANAP)
The High Tatras area: 741 km2

Pieniny
21 km2

The warmest month
July
The coldest month
January
Average annual temperature in lowlands Average annual temperature in High Tatras
3.7C/38.F; snow persists in high mountains
regions up to 130 days